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UK rental sector generates more than £50bn in rental payments each year

The private rental sector in the UK generates more income than 130 world nations and FTSE 100 companies, new research shows.

The research by lettings platform, Bunk, which looked at the income generated by the nation’s private rental sector and how this compares to the GDP of world nations and the FTSE 100, found that across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland there are 5,204,000 tenants currently renting in the private sector.

When multiplying the number of tenants in each county in the UK by the average annual rental cost, the estimated annual value of rental payments in the private sector currently stands at £51.9bn.


This is greater than the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of more than 100 countries.

If the UK’s tenants were to club together and form an independent rental nation, their financial contribution would surpass the entire nation of Myanmar (Burma) with a GDP of £51.8bn, as well as the economic efforts of Luxembourg (£48.1bn), Panama (£47.6bn), Uruguay (£45.6bn) and Costa Rica (£44.9bn).

Elsewhere, Bulgaria (£43.8bn), Croatia (£42.2bn) and Belarus (£41.9bn) also fail to match the might of the UK rental sector, while a lot further from home, the GDP of Lebanon and Tanzania also trails the financial contribution of UK tenants.

In fact, the income generated from UK nation rent is actually a greater financial vehicle than at least another 120 world nations.

London alone  could stand on its own two feet with a total annual rental sum of £17.7bn paid each year – outperforming the GDP output of no less than 80 countries around the globe.

UK rentals are not only outperforming the GDP of actual countries, but they are also surpassing the commercial might of a number of FTSE 100 companies.

The annual contribution of the UK’s private rental sector rental is a higher value than the market caps of companies like Vodafone (£39.1bn), Lloyds (£35.5bn), National Grid (£28.5bn) and Barclays (£25.5bn), among others.

Tom Woollard, co-founder of Bunk, commented: “Comparing the market value of the UK rental space to the worth of whole countries not only shows the enormity of what tenants are paying, but also the attractive proposition the buy-to-let sector still presents for landlords despite a number of changes that have dented the profitability of these investments.

“While the most recent UK GDP figures released last week show a slight decline in growth, in contrast, the private rental market continues to see a consistent increase almost across the board.

“With rents increasing and an acute shortage of properties being built for sale and to rent, we will surely see this upward trend climb further in the future - great for landlords, not as good for beleaguered tenants.

“To think, without realising it, the nation’s renters contribute more than the value of countries such as Luxembourg and Costa Rica, even with their apparent wealth in tax-avoidance and coffee, while also dwarfing the commerce giants of Vodafone and Lloyds Bank is actually quite amazing.”

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    Interesting, but the sector has been driven higher by two things.
    Property prices driven higher by housing shortage so demand outstrips supply.
    Government regulation and taxation changes.
    Both of these increase costs dramaticly and like any product cost increase it gets passed on to the customer.

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    Hi you forgot the biggest one traditionally base Rates were 5% + lender rate on top. When a decision was made to keep reducing this to a stupid level and abolishing Savers over night, they were left with no alternative but to buy property
    That they didn’t necessarily want or need all bidding against each other driving House prices through the roof.

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    • 20 August 2019 10:29 AM

    These are gross figures.
    The UK rental sector needs to factor in the £9 billion of losses caused by tenants every year plus the new losses caused by S24.
    That reduces to a far lower net figure.

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    • 20 August 2019 12:11 PM

    What an utterly pointless load of irrelevant drivel

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    Good luck to Jamie, we all get our day in the Sunshine & the Developers will to.

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    Yes its so easy isnt it we apparently get billions but virtually no respect. Bunk I'm sorry but it comes across a bit hypocritical. You play the beleaguered victim of agent charges from your Uni days. These are now non existent since June 2019. You set up a business of driving LA out of the process by linking landlords and the tenants with the promise of no deposit aka no skin in the game but at the same time promoting your model to the millennials and financing from intro fees from utility companies the big corporations. Its actually genius I love it

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    God knows why this chump gets air time. Assets of £170, an app and a Director with too much time on his hands for his ‘oh-so-educated brain’ to end up doing pointless research just to try and create a story for publicity for his app. Try harder.

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    So what is stopping tenants becoming home owners, or even landlords themselves ? oh that's right the dislike of hard work, of saving money, then there is the expensive social life that of course they are '' entitled'' to, oh these snow flakes and millennials don't you just love them, still it's mugs like these that keep the money rolling into our bank accounts.

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    Wow with views like yours its no wonder landlords are disliked, if the banks hadnt been complicite in offering BTL mortgages the sector would have been much smaller and the properties that are now BTL would have been someones actual home not some product or yield, I hope either Labour or Lib Dems do something about the attitude of this rental sector, many people the ones that stack the shelves serve your coffee can not afford to buy and instead have to put up with smug people like you

    • 23 September 2019 19:33 PM

    If there are anymore attacks on the PRS your proverbial shelf - stacker will be HOMELESS!
    The last thing tenants need is for private LL to sell up!
    LL do NOT have any smug attitudes.
    They operate businesses in an open market.
    No LL has ever been able to FORCE ia tenant into a letting contract.
    All tenants have the CHOICE to terminate their contractual arrangements with their LL subject to requisite legal; notice to vacate


    I’m a professional landlord of 16 years I have tenants who have lived in my properties for 10 plus years up until the all out assault on our industry I NEVER increased rents to a tenant in situ and why would you want to evict a decent paying tenant. This whole attack is political the so called ‘no fault evictions are emotive nonsense to play to the masses to gain votes and blame landlords for the housing crisis. Let me be clear the pain to come and already happening has come from cheap vote winning politicians and So called housing ‘charities’ .... that house not one person. I get Xmas cards from my tenants look after my properties and am being driven out of the industry by people who have no clue how it works. I will be fine will cash in and do something else but mark my words there will be more people sleeping in the streets and in years to come the same people who are doing this will be begging for the likes of myself to re enter and house people the authorities cannot themselves.

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    It's not a view David it is a FACT !


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